The participants in and graduates of the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) Master of Arts in Religious Education light up when they talk about sharing the faith tradition with others. The zeal for evangelization and education may have been present when they began at IPS but the program provides the language, tools, frameworks, and pastoral and intellectual formation that empowers them to live their dreams of teaching God’s Word, of forming, informing, and transforming others for an ever more actualized life in Christ.
The MA in Religious Education degree program develops the practices of thinking, acting, and teaching necessary for service to today’s culturally, generationally, and theologically diverse church. Through courses, field education placements, and projects, students refine habits of lifelong learning and spiritual growth that will serve them in the always-changing secular and church worlds. Additionally, students cultivate the practice of considering every problem and situation through theological lenses, so that the outcome or solution is infused with the principles of faith. These habits prepare students of the MA in Religious Education degree program to engage, catechize, and educate all age groups in a variety of contexts.
Students in the program enjoy challenges that awaken their senses and broaden their horizons. Students’ interactions with other students and with faculty members demonstrate the power and wisdom of creating a learning community for their own students.
The field of religious education is experiencing a renewed excitement as religious educators explore various ‘new media’ as educational and evangelical tools. Graduates of the MARE program have often worked as directors or coordinators of religious education, Christian education, or faith formation in Catholic and Protestant parishes, congregations, or diocesan offices; or as teachers of religion in faith-based elementary schools and high schools. But today, the career possibilities for creative, enthusiastic graduates are expanding into adult faith formation, Christian arts, and new media.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission